Is It True That Cats Have Nine Lives?
While no self-respecting cat would confess it, they are very similar to us poor mortal humans with only one life. Worse yet, long, happy life is frequently dependent on human assistance.
“Cats who live a healthy lifestyle and have access to medical care, just like people, have a better chance of living a longer, healthier, and happier life,” says Michelle Lugones, DVM, a staff veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Society in New York.
Still, it’s amusing to imagine that our cats would live for a long time, and the myth of the nine lives, which dates back to ancient Egypt, has a long history of its own.
What is the Origin of the Myth?
According to Lugones, the specific origin story of cats and their nine lives is unknown, although it is believed to be from the Egyptian goddess Bastet, who could switch between the bodies of a cat and a person, meaning she had several lives. According to the American Research Center in Egypt, cats were highly prized in ancient Egypt, admired for their dual nature, beautiful and kind while being aggressive and threatening to their prey. Many Egyptian gods were represented as cats because they shared similar characteristics.
Other cultures, on the other hand, think cats have six or seven lives, rather than the nine typically mentioned. With all of the discussion about cats’ supposed invincibility, there is some truth to their extraordinary ability to “always land on their feet.”